It’s been a wild 20 years for the Central New York Jazz Orchestra. The state of the economy in Syracuse and the region over the two decades has made the sustenance of the 16-piece professional ensemble that could a true labor of love.
But onward the CNYJO has marched under the umbrella of the Central New York Jazz Arts Foundation.
Executive director Larry Luttinger has set up a worthy celebration of the completion of the 20th anniversary for both.
It will feature the voice of Janis Siegel, a founding member of oh-so-popular vocal group Manhattan Transfer.
From the organization’s news release:
CNY Jazz will present a gala cabaret concert with special guest Janis Siegel, charter member and lead female voice for The Manhattan Transfer. Janis will sing her favorites from the Great American Songbook backed by the 16-piece CNY Jazz Orchestra, making its first appearance in the series in several years. The Le Moyne Jazzuits will provide their swinging brand of vocal jazz to open the show. While in Syracuse, Siegel will also present a clinic at Le Moyne College. During the event, Syracuse University Director of Jazz Studies Dr. John Coggiola will receive the 11th annual “CNY Jazz Educator of the Year” award for his many distinguished years of service.
“We’re deliberately pulling out all the stops to give our 20th season a huge sendoff,” according to Larry Luttinger, founder of CNY Jazz. “Surviving 20 years in the arts is an accomplishment in itself, and we’re pulling it off in style these days. To celebrate, we’re holding a blowout session featuring the entire jazz orchestra with one of the finest singers on the planet. This will be an evening of epic proportions. We’re counting on the jazz community to come out in numbers for this terrific, swinging anniversary party.”
Guest artist Janis Siegel, the familiar lead voice on Manhattan Transfer hits like “Operator” “Birdland” and “The Boy From New York City” is a 10-time Grammy Award winner with an honorary doctorate from the Berklee School of Music. She has released over a dozen recordings under her own name. She has collaborated with the world’s finest, including Bobby McFerrin (as a member of his “Voicestra”), Diane Reeves, Jon Hendricks, Fred Hersch, Cleo Lane and many others. While in Syracuse, she will also provide students from Le Moyne College with her educational expertise in a master class and clinic setting. Members of the Le Moyne “Jazzuits” will open the show on Sunday, May 1 with a swinging set starting at 4 p.m.
Dr. John Coggiola, recipient of the jazz educator award, is currently Director of Jazz Studies for the Setnor School of Music at Syracuse University. Since 1997, he has conducted jazz ensembles and taught jazz improvisation, pedagogy and jazz history at S.U., as well as courses in music cognition and issues in music education, technology and research.
The CNY Jazz Cabaret series features fine national talent in a club atmosphere, with cash bar and food stations available starting at 4 p.m. the Le Moyne Jazzuits open the show, the CNY Jazz Orchestra with Music Director Bret Zvacek will perform at 5, and Janis joins the big band for a closing set starting at 6.
Sunday, May 1, 2016
CNY Jazz 20th Anniversary Concert
Sheraton Syracuse University Grand Ballroom
801 University Ave, Syracuse, N.Y.
4 p.m. Doors.
Tickets $25 advance at cnyjazz.org/subscribers or 315-479-5299. $30 door, $10 w/student ID.
More Jazz News from Laurie Dapice
Also on the vocal jazz front, Laurie Dapice sent over from New York City the news that she’s playing two hometown-area shows within a week.
The singer from Utica will perform at 6 p.m. Monday, April 25, at the Utica Public Library, 303 Genesee St., Utica.
On Friday, April 29, she’ll be the singer at a happy hour show at the University Sheraton in Syracuse, accompanied by Larry Luttinger and members of the CNYJO.
Both of the shows are free.
Dapice also included the good news that reviewers liked her last album, which earned mention in the prestigious Jazz Times and Downbeat magazines. I liked the album, too.
What’s your favorite jazz group, and why? What’s your favorite Manhattan Transfer song, and why? What’s the last album you listened to, and where were you when you listened to it?